The story of Francisco G. (known to everyone as Paco) and his two loyal dogs is not one that could be easily forgotten. Found in Sierra Nevada in the middle of the mountain, Paco had been seeking refuge in a stone hut for over three months.
Despite the fact that Paco found himself suddenly surrounded by a media frenzy, he stated that he has no family roots and considers himself a solitary person. The digital newspaper EL ESPAÑOL located him in the Centro Municipal de Acogida de Almería which is where the Civil Guard rescued Paco and took him in under their protection. At the time of his rescue, the Civil Guard found the man to be very weak and almost completely out of food.
Paco took on his adventure into Sierra Nevada three months ago or so, after recovering from a tendon operation and was given the green light from his doctor to go into the mountains. “I took my dogs and settled there,” he says.
Paco made the remote shelter his home for him and his pets, Yaiza and Mar. Amazingly enough, he would walk up to 20 kilometres, all the way to Ohanes just to get food, however, this all changed when he encountered a girl that lived only ten kilometres away from his stone hut and she would take him into the village in order to get food.
Despite willingly living in the mountains, it was no easy feat. After some time, the tempest Storm Gloria took over the nation and claimed the lives of 13 victims as well as other disappearances.
Gloria’s arrival suddenly made Paco’s living situation dire and dangerous, without any electricity, water or means of communication with the outside world to call for help or provides signs of life.
What kept Paco alive? Dehydration was not an issue as there were always around 40 to 50 centimetres of snow, however food was an issue. Somehow, Paco and his dogs manage to survive and outlive this horrific storm, “A blizzard up there can kill you,” Paco said.
Although the stone hut that Paco was living in at the time had ample space as it could fit up to 12 people, and in the summertime, it is the perfect spot for a family vacation. During the winter, however, it is quite the opposite: a cold, empty place in which freezing to death is possible. Paco had discovered the stone hut years’ prior with his wife.
Paco was moved to the Hostel Almeriense where he was safe and given his first hot meal for which he did not have to hike 20 kilometres. Although the rescue was completed safely, it was no easy task due to the state of the terrain because of the tempest, however the Civil Guard managed to get the man and his two dogs off the mountain safely and into warmth.